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Net Play

Q. I know you see the professionals at the US Open first hand , and from the TV view it looks as though they are hitting very low over the net. Should I be hitting low over the net as well? What height would be a good for a high school player to aim for?

A. “What is good for the goose is NOT always good for the gander”.

Whether it just appears that pros hit lower over the net, or not, is irrelevant. Realize they are pros, and often, when playing well, hit more winners than errors. Did you see Andy Roddick being defeated at this year’s Australian Open?

Margin for error is key, and there is little reason to deliberately flirt with the net, unless hitting passing shots, or in doubles where a net player is looking to pick off your higher shots. Depth is very important in singles, and hitting the ball higher over the net is one relatively safe way to achieve depth.

How high? That is a part of the balancing act between ball speeds, spin, distance from the net and direction of shot, and whether you are trying to make time for yourself to recover, or take time from your opponent who may be out of position.

Practice hitting deep for consistency from different situations, with some variety from loops to drives, more or less spin/speed. A player that consistently keeps the ball deep in the court is almost always effective.

 
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